IMC – India meets Classic presents …

… radio shows for Indian (Music) Culture

Raga CDs of the months (07/08): RAGAMALIKAS… Compositions in South Indian Classics

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on June 30, 2008

Ragamalika means “Garland of Ragas” in it’s literary sense. It is a very popular composition form of South Indian Classics, the Carnatic music. The music system of Indian Classics exhibits thousands of raga scales and hundreds of rhythm circles, the tala-s. Many composers of the Indian classical period were concerned with this broad field and a created a multiplicity of so called ragamalika compositions.

The ragamalika-s are delightful compositions. A ragamalika consists of different raga-s; gentle and melodious flow of the music, from one raga to the next. The selection of the raga-s and their arrangement in a ragamalika composition are based simply on aesthetic considerations.

date of broadcasting: 1st July 2008 – 09:00 p.m. (MESTZ)
(2nd date of broadcasting: 3rd July 2008 – 03:00 a.m. (MESTZ))
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

In the Middle Ages of India the musical form of the ragamalika-s was well-known as Raga Kadambakam. Kadamba is a garland, twisted from different flowers.

Ragamalika Chakravarti ! – The King of the Ragamalika. – So Ramaswami Dikshitar could be called. This Indian composer lived from 1735 till 1817. R. Dikshitar made history as a proven expert in the composition of the longest Ragamalika-s. His texts (lyrics) of all his Ragamalika-s are in Telegu, the third biggest dravidic language of India, beside Hindi and Bengali.

Muthuswami Dikshitar (1776 - 1834)
Muthuswami Dikshitar (1776 – 1834)

The number of Ragas, which are used in an individual composition, can vary from two to 72. The longest composition consists of 108 Ragas, it’s the “Ashtottara Shata Raga Tala malika” of Muthuswami Dikshitar (1776-1834), son of Ramswami Dikshitar and member of the musical trinity of the South Indian Classsics (beside Tyagaraja and Syama Sastra).

Ramaswami Dikshitar’s ragamalika-s (selection)

  • The ragamalika `Samajagamana ninnu korinadira‘ consists of 20 ragas, in the rhythm structure “Ad(h)i Tala” (8 beats). It is dedicated to King Amarasimhan, who was a Marahtta regent of Tanjavur.
  • The ragamalika ‘Manasa Verutarula‘ consists of a set of 48 ragas, 8 beats (Ad(h)i Tala). It is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, a shape form of the Hindu Goddess Vishnu. Venkateswara is the destroyer of the human sins.

Prasanna (electric guitar) performs 14 raga ragamalika kriti (part 1)

Prasanna (electric guitar) performs 14 raga ragamalika kriti (part 2)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: